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Michael McCaul

With Islamic State using instant messaging apps, FBI seeks access to data

Islamic State militants and their followers have discovered an unnerving new communications and recruiting tool that has stymied U.S. counter-terrorism agencies: instant messaging apps on smartphones that encrypt the texts or destroy them almost immediately. In many cases, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies can't read the messages in real time, or even later with a court order, because the phone companies and the app developers say they can't unlock the coded text and don't retain a record of the exchanges. "We're past going dark in certain instances," said Michael B. Steinbach, the FBI's top counter-terrorism official. "We are...

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